McDonald's Corp is selling its 50 percent stake in one of its Indian joint ventures to the local partner for an undisclosed amount and converting it into a franchisee operation, the Economic Times reported on Monday.


The world's biggest restaurant chain will exit Hardcastle Restaurants Private Ltd, one of McDonald's two 15-year-old equal joint ventures that run its outlets in India, the newspaper said citing the vice chairman of Hardcastle Restaurants.


"We are excited. It gives us the freedom to grow aggressively and take quick decisions," Amit Jatia told the newspaper.


Hardcastle Restaurants owns the restaurant chain in west and south India. In northern and eastern part of the country the chain is owned by Connaught Plaza Restaurants Private Limited.


A spokesman for Hardcastle Restaurants in India said he could not immediately comment on the report, and Jatia did not respond to a mail by Reuters seeking comment.


The Economic Times said the change in ownership at one of the Indian joint ventures meant McDonald's would no longer invest in Hardcastle Restaurants, but would lend its brand name and help with training, development and knowledge.

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